German cable system supplier Leoni, now a member of the Desertec project, says it can slash assembly and installation costs for solar PV plants developed as part of the initiative by 75%.

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German cable firm Leoni joins Desertec clean power project

Leoni has joined the Desertec consortium as an associated partner, the German cables and cable systems supplier announced today.

The company has become part of the industrial initiative Dii, which is working towards the creation of a market for desert power to supply North Africa, the Middle East and Europe (EUMENA region) with clean energy.

Leoni will contribute products and services to help raise the efficiency of solar thermal and photovoltaic power plants developed for the Dersertec project.

“We are pleased that Leoni, the biggest employer in Tunisia, is a new associated partner of our initiative,” Paul von Son, Managing Director of the Dii, said. “The company can make a valuable contribution to reducing the power plants’ construction cost.”

Late last month the Dii consortium issued a report suggesting Europe could save €30/MWh on renewable electricity generated in the deserts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), if the three regions integrated their power networks. Leoni will play a key role in this. It has more than three decades of experience with its facilities in North Africa and currently employs about 25,000 people in the region. “It is not least for this reason that we are certain that we can make a rewarding contribution to the Desertec project,” said Dr Klaus Probst, Chairman and CEO of Leoni AG.

The Leoni Group provides power and control cables to suit all types of renewable energy generation and has recently begun to supply solar thermal plants – mostly with assembled cable systems. Their “big advantage”, says the firm, is that they are plug-and-play capable.

Industrially pre-assembled, the cable systems can be rapidly installed without involving any experts. “That pays off,” it says. “Firstly, it only takes up half as much time to trim, cut and fit the cables with connectors in the factory than in the usually uncomfortable surroundings of a solar power plant field. Secondly, labour costs are lower in a factory than in field installation. Overall, assembly and installation costs are reduced by about 75 per cent.”

Leoni also has a wide range of products available for photovoltaic plants; from solar flat wires for linking individual module cells and strings, junction boxes for complete panels and through to installation cables for connecting the panels with inverters.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity